Drinking has been a temptation since its creation. It has destroyed and caused pain in countless lives.
At some point, you would think that people would wise up to harm it does but instead we just hear excuses and protests about how innocent it is to have 1 (or 3 or 6 packs) of beers a night. Articles on how healthy it is to have wine, only later new articles about how it’s not as great as they thought.
Not only does alcohol poison the body, in excess, it turns normally decent people into monsters. It is one of the temptations we could do without.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.
Proverbs 23:29-30 NLT
Several other translations set this in the form of a question… how then can man understand his way?
We don’t see the big picture as we live our lives day to day. We might have plans and keep a fraction of a big picture in our heads as we make decisions, but what we see is only a tiny slice. For every ripple in the pond we create, we only see or anticipate a couple rings…God sees it all, beginning to end.
We can’t understand why things happen when they do or why good people suffer. We can’t understand why bad people seem to be rewarded, or why no matter how hard we try, things just don’t seem to work out as we want.
There is some good news though. We don’t have to understand everything, we’re not even meant to. There is a measure of relief and freedom in that.
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
Proverbs 20:24 NLT
There’s nothing that shows the ugliness of pride quicker than praise.
Most people simply can’t handle being praised without succumbing to a measure of pride. The degree to which we fall varies depending on the situation, but few people are truly able to refuse the praise for long. Even when we attempt to direct the praise to God, where all praise belongs…true humility is a rare thing.
When God uses a person to accomplish something noteworthy or good, that person faces a test. Praise, fame, acclaim…suddenly that person finds themselves in a position of temptation. It feels good to be recognized for our good deeds or actions. But there comes a point when, after giving the glory to God a few times, the person may just smile and say thank you rather than pointing to God.
Pride enters and it is a sin.
When you keep the glory for yourself rather than giving it to God, that is a sin.
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
Proverbs 27:21 NLT
Physical pain and injury is so much easier to recover from than emotional pain. With physical injury, you can take active steps to healing. See the wound, clean the wound, treat the wound, bandage it, and you see daily progress of healing.
Not so with injury to your spirit. It’s like being blind and fumbling through the pain to try and find relief. Is there progress? Who knows? You can’t see the wound to assess it. Will it ever end?
While you can self treat many physical injuries, you are helpless when it comes to spiritual ones. You need a healer with 20-20 vision. You need someone you can trust. Someone who knows the inner workings of the spirit.
There is only One healer for the spirit. The One who created it.
God is our Master Healer.
Men/women get degrees to learn how to adjust the way people think and feel and while they do offer some help in coping with emotions and thoughts, they cannot heal the spirit.
Only God can cure a crushed spirit, because the spirit is of God.
The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
Proverbs 18:14 NLT
What an honest way to open a prayer!
There are times I feel just like this…too stupid to be human…totally worn out and tired from life.
And God is there, silent and strong, for me.
He can be there for you too.
The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.
Proverbs 30:1-2 NLT
Let’s face it…being honest with yourself ranks right up there with the high pitched scream of the dentist drill, or rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together, or pulling cotton! (Shudders)
It’s not real high on the “Great ways to spend an evening” list.
But it is rewarding.
Not in the “Yay cool a treat!” type of reward. More along the lines of the “Dang, I suck, but thank you God for revealing the true me so I have time to change before I have to come face to face with You!” Yeah, that type of reward. The type that shaves off another rough layer. The type that sucker punches you when you least expect it, but inevitably proves invaluable in the long run.
Whenever you feel you’re totally “in the right”, keep this in mind and examine your own motives first. You might just avoid the humble pie that’s aimed at your face.
People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
Proverbs 16:2 NLT
“Danger” can come in many forms, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. It’s not easy to prepare fully for all possibilities, but it is easy to take some precautions.
If you live in an area with tornados you make sure you have a shelter to run to. Keeping a supply of basic necessities on hand in any type of physical emergency is prudent.
Emotional and mental dangers aren’t as easy to prepare for, but you can still assess yourself and be honest about your situation and what you can handle. If you suffer from fears and phobias or traumas you can seek help. If there is abuse in your life you can deal with it appropriately but only if you acknowledge the truth of your situation first.
Spiritual dangers can be prepared for if you take the time to reinforce your relationship with God and build a strong tie to your faith family.
Take stock of the dangers surrounding you and begin basic precautions. A little prep work can go a long way.
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Proverbs 22:3 NLT